How do you know you have a food allergy?

Which is it??

Food allergies are all around us. Gluten free, dairy free, nut free, meat free…

I’m only half kidding on the meat free one.

Food allergies are real; 15 million Americans have food allergies. While there is no denying the validity of food allergies, there is some misused labeling happening across the nation.

Some people are claiming to have “food allergies” when that’s not the case. What they could have is an intolerance or a sensitivity.

Food Allergies (1)

Food Allergy vs Food Intolerance

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a food allergy is based on a reaction from the body’s immune system. This means that the body does not recognize an ingredient in the food, which is usually a protein, and the body attacks it, thus affecting organs and potentially creating serious reactions.

An intolerance to a particular type of food is a based on a reaction from the body’s digestive system. Upset stomachs, nausea, cramping, and diarrhea are common symptoms of a food intolerance.

*Food allergies are more serious and severe than a food intolerance*

Food Sensitivity

Going even further, there’s what is called a food sensitivity. Not many studies have been done on food sensitivities, but there is a main difference between a sensitivity, a food allergy, and an intolerance.

A food sensitivity is not an immune reaction, so it’s not an allergy. With most food sensitivities, the body has unpleasant reactions, including nausea or acid reflex, which is similar to a food intolerance.

 

greasy_food

Photo from: www.two-views.com

However, with a food intolerance, the reactions typically happen the same way every time after eating the food, not periodically or every once in a while, like it does with a sensitivity.

Now, that’s not to say that you have an intolerance to greasy food because it gives you heartburn. It’s because of the greasy food.

This is an area I’ll be learning a lot more about with first hand experience. I believe I have a food intolerance, but am not sure. I plan on getting it checked out within the next week. I’ll keep you all posted.

In the meantime….

Let’s get energized! 🙂